Ask Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

My teenage daughter (16) always has her head in her phone or computer. It seems I can never get her attention or to focus on conversations with others. All she cares about is that phone, and what others are doing online. She has even gotten in trouble in school because of her “addiction.” What can I do?

Frustrated Mom

Dear Frustrated Mom,

I understand how incredible it is to see kids who are more concerned with technology than they are with what is going on around them. We didn’t have that problem growing up, because we didn’t have the internet or cell phones readily available to us. My advice would be to put limitations on her phone use. Set strict rules, such as “No phone at the dinner table” or “No phones after 9 p.m.” She may get angry, but it is important to set boundaries. Stick to your rules and remember that you are the parent, not her. Create fun things to do that don’t require a phone, like hiking or swimming. Encourage her to go outside and see her friends in person instead of using social media or texting to socialize. I hope this helps! Good luck!

Dear Elizabeth,

I am 14 years old, and I am having an issue at school. This girl that I don’t really like has been talking all kinds of stuff about me, and none of it is true. I want to confront her and set the record straight, but I am afraid that it will be physical because that’s how mad I am. How can I get this girl to shut her mouth without having to shut it for her?


Dear Scrapper,

You are only 14! This kind of thing happens all the time. People are going to talk “stuff” about you and it may not be true, but it is important to know that those who truly do know you and love you will always know the truth. Fighting at school, or in general, is unacceptable. It is juvenile and usually only makes a situation worse. My advice would be to talk to (not confront) this girl. Just talk and try to set the record straight in a calm and rational manner. If that doesn’t work, then you need to realize that there is nothing you can do, and you just need to move on. Once you are out of school, I can promise that you won’t even remember this girl or what she said. Most people like that only do what they do to get a rise out of others. If you don’t react, then it will get boring and she will move on. I hope this helps.

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